Depop is a social shopping app through which anyone can buy and sell desirable goods. It was launched on iOS devices in early 2013 and is now also available for Android devices. It has been developed to meet the demand of anyone willing to buy and sell goods through a mobile device, within a passionate, like-minded community. This free-to-download app allows sellers to simply take a photo of the product, upload it to their profile page and sell it. Born in Italy it is now available also in the UK and soon also in the US and Brazil. Here, CEO Simon Beckerman explains the concept. Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini

social shopping app depop.com
social shopping app depop.com
Can you describe how is the app structured and how it is working?
The app is very simple: it follows the same rules that instagram, twitter and pinterest (to mention a few) use. You follow your friends and favourite sellers, so you can stay updated with what they do. Just take a picture and write a couple of details to list your item for sale very quickly. There's a "home feed" to see what your friends are selling, an "explore" section to view some of the most interesting things selected by us and an "activity" section to see what your friends like, purchase and who they follow.

How did the app originate?
The idea for Depop developed out of the simple fact that everyone has cupboards, rooms, even garages full of things they don’t want anymore and could sell to a new home. I didn’t want to create a faceless marketplace used by strangers, but a system that is social and fun. Just as they do with Twitter or Instagram, Depop gives friends a real time way to follow one another and chat about what they have and are selling and buying.

It started when I was designing a shop for my past company, PIG Magazine. After a quick online experiment I decided to do an app, because people love apps and they're simpler and faster. And, they are always in your pocket. When I designed the app I looked at it and quickly decided that I didn't only want PIG to be selling in there so I opened it up for everyone. After that, I made a presentation and showed it to the guys at H-Farm (h-farmventures.com) in Italy who loved it and decided to invest and help me build the prototype.

When did you launch it and what was the initial reaction?
We launched in Italy in summer last year and the reaction has been great. People love its simplicity, its fresh approach, and how much fun it is to use.

social shopping app depop.com
social shopping app depop.com
To whom is it addressed?
We initially address this app to everyone who has interesting and cool things to sell: be it girls who like to do shopping, designers, designers, vintage traders, small shops and indie brands.

How many users does the app currently have and how many are you looking to have in the long run?
We have 120 thousands registered users (and 1.5 million items listed for sale so far). The first country we launched it in after Italy was the UK in November 2013 to be followed by US and Brazil in 2014.

What have been the biggest challenges of running the app thus far? And the greatest joys?
The biggest challenge has been creating the app. The technical part is the most difficult. Making it scalable to let thousands of users use it at the same time requires very good skills.

What services are you offering right now through it?
We offer a simple and fun way for people to buy and sell without the need for using a computer. What better service than this?

What new services are you planning to add in the near or long-term run?
We'd like to make it even easier for users to buy, and also to ship. And also to simplify aspects such as finding categories, more advanced search and photo filters.

social shopping app depop.com
social shopping app depop.com
Does fashion, streetwear or sportswear play an important role in your app?
Yes. Fashion is very important right now. You can find a lot of new and vintage items - many interesting and cool pieces that you won't find anywhere else.

How do you stay in touch with your members? How important is the social network aspect for this app?
We communicate through our newsletter, our facebook and twitter pages. In Italy we also have an unofficial Depop group which is taken care by our lady users. In there they can ask questions, get help and chat with other members of the community.

What section, service or part of the app do you personally like most?
My favourite part is the explore section because I can see many cool products at a glance.